Cotton demand surges
Demand for Zimbabwean cotton on the international market has shot up to unprecedented levels as both the European and Asian countries respond to the Zimbabwe is open for business mantra being spearheaded by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Dubbed the white gold, Zimbabwe’s cotton has triggered competition on the world market with both the European and Asian giants’ reportedly expressing keen interest to buy the high quality handpicked cotton produced by the smallholder farmers from various parts of the country.
The Agricultural and Marketing Authority (AMA) and the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) confirmed there has been overwhelming demand of cotton produced in the country from Europe and Asia as the international market positively responds to President Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe is open for business mantra.
“Because of its high quality, Zimbabwe cotton which is handpicked has attracted interest in countries such as Singapore, China, and Bangladesh. The demand is so high that the 70 percent quarter from export is too little,”reveals Berean Mukwende, AMA chairperson.
The high demand for the country’s white gold has also hit new heights on the SADC market with Angola joining the bandwagon of interested buyers on the regional market.
“In SADC demand is high from countries such as South Africa, Mauritius, Lesotho and as you have heard from the President after his visit to Angola that they are also interested in Zimbabwe’s cotton, and demand is higher than what we are producing,” said the Cottco Managing Director Pious Manamike.
Demand is also high from European countries like Turkey and Italy to mention but a few, added Manamike.
Cotton used to be the second highest foreign currency earner after tobacco, and while expectations are high that the sector will produce over 100 000 tonnes this year, the Presidential Free Cotton Inputs Scheme is targeting to produce 350 000 tonnes to meet local and export demand and rake in the much needed forex.